Marc Davison on the 1000 Watt blog recently wrote an article entitled “A pulse, a passing grade and a business card: raising the bar on real estate agent qualifications”, imploring brokerages to raise their hiring standards.
I’m really torn about this idea. On the one hand, I would love to raise the professionalism of my chosen career. On the other hand, I love the idea that for someone who has common sense and wants to work hard, the sky’s the limit. It’s one of the few jobs a woman can do while raising children, it’s schedule is very adaptable. It’s also a great 2nd career for many people. Why should we look down our noses on those without college degrees or make it again another job that requires a degree, when it really is not necessary.
Neither Air Traffic Controllers nor Nuclear power reactor operators nor commercial pilots (all life-or-death/serious jobs) need a college degree…. why should this one? The definition of a professional is a prescribed course of education, a code or set of rules and regulations, and membership in a professional organization, and membership in the National Association of Realtors fulfills these requirements to raise real estate agents to the level of a professional. Why put a college degree on that requirement, too?
The reality, however, is that many Realtors have college degrees. But you can’t teach common sense and you can’t teach someone to be clever.
According to the NAR, Realtors are well-educated, with 44 percent holding at least a bachelor’s degree, which is about double the national average of degree holders in the U.S.. They are active in the political process – 95 percent are registered to vote; 91 percent voted in the last national election and 81 percent voted in the last local election.
In addition, many Realtors hold at least one professional designation, with the most popular being GRI (Graduate, REALTOR® Institute), held by 19 percent of respondents; ABR® (Accredited Buyer Representative®), 14 percent; and CRS® (Certified Residential Specialist®), 10 percent. Smaller percentages hold one of 14 other designations.
In addition, twelve percent belong to the Council of Residential Specialists, 11 percent are members of the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council, 5 percent the Women’s Council of Realtors and 3 percent the Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers; smaller percentages belong to five other affiliates.
Why all this lamenting about lack of professionalism? It seems to me that there are plenty of folks working hard to take continuing education classes after they get their license.
Yes, some agents and Realtors act unprofessionally. Not sure how to stop that. I can only hope they fail miserably and go back to practicing law or whatever else they were doing prior to becoming Realtors, sales agents and real estate brokers.